The Barracks were a secure residential compound on the Island comprising houses and other surface buildings with electricity and water service, plus an unknown number of underground facilities. Originally constructed by the DHARMA Initiative, the Others took control of them after the Purge, using the compound as their home and base of operations on the Island.
The Others abandoned the Barracks in 2004 in anticipation of the arrival of the mercenary team sent by Charles Widmore. When the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 split into two groups, Locke’s group temporarily resided in the Barracks. Since then, the Barracks had been abandoned.
The Barracks were located directly north of the Pearl, as shown on Ben’s radio tower map and Kate’s map.
The Barracks were built sometime in the early 1970’s, likely not long after the DHARMA Initiative’s arrival on the Island. They were used to house DHARMA Initiative scientists, support staff and their families. The Barracks were designed to be an entire utopian community or small town with all the amenities of civilization of that era.
Residents had all of the conveniences of modern living, such as electricity, plumbing, ovens, refrigerators, books, record players, and so on. DHARMA staff also appear to have taken part in recreational leisure activities with individuals riding bikes across the grounds.
At some point after their arrival, the DHARMA Initiative entered into a long-running conflict with a group “indigenous” to the Island, known as the Hostiles. After numerous skirmishes, the conflict ended when the Hostiles, in alliance with certain members of the Initiative including Ben Linus, flooded the Barracks with toxic gas killing at least forty in a single stroke. Some time afterwards, the Barracks were taken over by the Others: a group consisting of the Hostiles, ex-DHARMA personnel and people recruited from the outside world. (“The Man Behind the Curtain”)
The Others appeared to have constructed a tight-knit community within the Barracks – and appear to have maintained ties with the outside world, per the appearance of clothing, books, CDs, electronics and other items of recent origin. Their community also had their own book club. It is not known how many Others lived at the Barracks, although Jack estimated at least fifty. (“Left Behind”)
The survivors’ discovery of the Barracks began when Sayid found a map in the Flame with the location marked on it. According to Sayid, the map showed “electrical and data cabling running from the Flame… to a place called the Barracks”. He also said that the Barracks were “comprised of houses and dormitories, with water and power, large enough to accommodate an entire community.” He correctly surmised that this was the location of the Others’ home on the Island. (“Enter 77”)
Sayid, Kate, Locke, and Danielle Rousseau were the first to discover the Barracks after bypassing the sonar fence, and were subsequently captured. The Others, however, unexpectedly abandoned the Barracks after this incident – leaving for The Temple. This move was likely a response to the freighter approaching the Island sent by Charles Widmore. (“The Man from Tallahassee”) (“Left Behind”)
Locke’s group temporarily settled in the Barracks, believing it to be one of the most secure areas remaining on the Island.
This illusion was shattered, however, by an attack on the Barracks by the freighter mercenaries. (“The Economist”) (“The Shape of Things to Come”)
Since that time, the Barracks was completely abandoned. After the emergency landing of Ajira Airlines Flight 316 in 2007, Frank, Sun, Ben, and Locke returned to the Barracks which appeared to be suffering from three years of age and neglect. Why the Others did not resume occupation of the facility is unknown. (“Namaste”) (“Dead Is Dead”)
After the death of Juliet, Sawyer left the Temple despite the warnings by Dogen that he should not leave. Soon afterwards Kate and Jin went after him with two Others, Justin and Aldo. Kate knocked out both men and found Sawyer, at his and Juliet’s home at the Barracks, on her own. Kate and Sawyer discussed Juliet’s death at the submarine jetty and Sawyer told Kate he was going to ask Juliet to marry him. He then threw Juliet’s engagement ring into the water and told Kate to go back to the temple while he remained there. (“What Kate Does”)
Later on that day, Sawyer continued to get drunk in his home and listened to a song titled “Search and Destroy” while the smoke monster arrived at the barracks and looked into his home. A little while later the Man in Black walked up to Sawyer’s home in the guise of John Locke. While in the house, Sawyer and the Man in Black shared a drink and Sawyer questioned who the Man in Black was because he was not scared, while the real John Locke always was. The Man in Black then said that, if Sawyer came with him, he could provide the answer to the most important question there was: Why are you on this Island? After some initial reluctance, Sawyer agreed to go along. (“The Substitute”)
Richard Alpert, Benjamin Linus, and Miles Straume traveled to the Barracks to collect explosives to destroy the Ajira plane, after Hurley destroyed all of the Black Rock’s remaining dynamite. (“Everybody Loves Hugo”) Not long after arriving at Ben’s old house they encountered a fleeing Charles Widmore and Zoe. After finding out the Man in Black arrived at the dock, Miles fled the Barracks, Widmore and Zoe hid in the secret room, and Richard and Ben went out to confront him. Richard was then attacked by the Monster, and thrown out of sight. Ben then led The Man In Black to Widmore, where he killed Zoe and Ben shot and killed Widmore. (“What They Died For”) Miles later located Richard in the nearby jungle, and they used an outrigger rigged at the dock to go to Hydra Island. (“The End”)
During the time of the DHARMA Initiative and later under custody of the Others, the Barracks were extremely well kept with neatly mowed and watered lawns. Attractive concrete pathways wound their way between the buildings lined with what appeared to be solar-powered garden lights. A number of speakers were set at occasion along the paths along with posts containing security cameras and floodlights which could be activated on the event of a security breach. The Barracks had no telephone or electrical poles – which suggests the presence of an underground power distribution system. Several white picket fences seemed to denote various yards or garden areas.
The Processing Center
The Welcome Center was the first stop for recruits after they have been checked in at the Processing Center. It was the source for any information regarding departments and procedures on the island. The center was also used for training and educational programs.
Beneath the building east of the Welcome Center was located an underground bunker-like security office. Access to the Security Office was restricted to authorized personnel only. A large bank of nine monitors (similar to those seen at the Pearl, the Flame, and the Hydra) provided live security feeds from various areas of the Barracks including the sonar fence. The DHARMA Initiative appeared to have had security personnel stationed here continuously. One of the DHARMA security guards made a joke about the polar bears escaping their cages, hinting that other stations could be monitored from this location. The room also contained a reel-to-reel tape player capable of playing music on the room’s speakers. (“LaFleur”) (“Namaste”) The office may also have been the location where the Others monitored Jack during his stay at the Barracks. (“The Man from Tallahassee”)
An adjacent room contained a jail cell which was used briefly to hold Sayid in 1977. The room contained a security camera which apparently had picture, but no sound. (“Namaste”) (“He’s Our You”) Why the Others did not use the jail cell for holding Kate, Sayid, and Locke is unknown. Possibly Anthony Cooper may have been held here for a time. (“The Man from Tallahassee”) (“Left Behind”)
At the southside of the the Barracks lay a medical clinic and operating theater ostensibly to take care of day-to-day injuries and other health issues for DHARMA Initiative personnel. Amy was brought here to give birth to her son, Ethan. Similarly, young Ben was brought here after being shot by Sayid. The clinic contained basic medical supplies including sterile lancets, painkillers, cotton pads, and swabs – although apparently was not as well stocked as The Staff. (“LaFleur”) (“He’s Our You”) (“Whatever Happened, Happened”)
A large building, east of the school, contained a cafeteria and large adjacent kitchen presumably where DHARMA personnel would take most of their meals. Hurley worked here for a time in 1977. (“He’s Our You”) The kitchen/cafeteria had its own DHARMA logo.
The Motor Pool was a large garage/depot facility at the eastern side of the Barracks where DHARMA’s fleet of vans, jeeps, and pickup trucks were housed. Vehicles here could be signed out by DHARMA personnel on an as-needed basis and would be worked on by technicians at the same location. Numerous fuel containers, oil drums, and tires were strewn about. The Motor pool maintained eight vans, four jeeps, and four pickup trucks that could be used around the Island. (Dharma Initiative orientation kit). On pegs next to the sign-out sheet hung 16 keys. A locked gun safe was also kept here, presumably in the event of Hostile incursions. (“LaFleur”) (“Some Like It Hoth”) (“The Variable”) The motor pool had its own DHARMA logo.
Associated Events, DHARMA Station & Mythology
Associated LOST Characters
Primary Symbolism: The Olympians & Major Deities
Secondary Symbolism: The Titans
DHARMA BARRACKS (Symbolic Location)
In Greek mythology Olympus was regarded as the “home” of the Twelve Olympian gods of the ancient Greek world. It formed itself after the gods defeated the titans in the Titan War, and soon the palace was inhabited by the gods. It is the setting of many Greek mythical stories. Olympus was not shaken by winds nor ever wet with rain, nor did snow fall upon it, but the air is outspread clear and cloudless, and over it hovered a radiant whiteness.
OLYMPUS was the home of the gods. They dwelt in fabulous palaces of marble and gold built on the peak of the mountain high above the clouds.
Sometimes the gods’ citadel stands at the apex of the solid bronze dome of the sky, high above the peak of Mount Olympus. In the Iliad (5.709ff) Hera descends from the sky dome in her chariot to speak with Zeus who is seated on the peak of Mount Olympos.
Olympus, the abode of the gods also requires a few words of comment in this place. Mount Olympus is situated in the north-east of Thessaly, and is about 6,000 feet high; on its summit which rises above the clouds of heaven, and is itself cloudless, Hephaestus had built a town with gates, which was inhabited by Zeus and the other gods. (Od. vi. 42, Il. xi. 76.) The palace of Zeus contained an assenmbly-hall, in which met not only the gods of Olympus, but those also who dwelt on the earth or in the sea. (Il. xx. 5.) This celestial mountain must indeed be distinguished from heaven ; but as the gods lived in the city which rose above the clouds and into heaven, they lived at the same time in heaven, and the gates of the celestial city were at the same time regarded as the gates of heaven. (Il. v. 749, &c.)